The ISACS Network were delighted to partner again with Wexford Arts Centre to bring you back LIFT – one of our artist development programmes. This residency offers mentoring and creation space for duo ground-based circus artists via an open-call residency. LIFT is supported by County Wexford Arts Department, Wexford County Council and Arts Council Ireland.

LIFT aims to provide space, support, expertise and room for circus artists to develop their practice. The selected artist for this 2023 edition was Barry Cahill.

The artist was granted the use of theatre space at Wexford Arts Centre along with the  mentoring from Dr SimonThompson – Clown Noir, bouffon and clown archetypes expert – and the centre’s Technician, Marketing Manager and Director. Barry will also avail of the use of a hot desk at the ISACS Network office for desktop research and subsequent reports/applications are also made available to him.

The Residency ended on November 24th with Barry performing Home – an initial work in progress resulted from his 5 days residency. Here is what he said about his experience.

During our residency, myself and Simon Thompson explored the concept of the contemporary Bouffon. The Bouffon were traditionally those people who were exiledfrom society yet made scathing public commentary concerning despots and dictatorship.

Our primary purpose was to explore what the clown archetype of the hobo could offer his modern audiences, by working with mask, neutral, metaphysical, and the four temperaments to inform the Bouffon. This collaborative process fused all these elements together to enable me to do a twenty minute work in progress showing at Wexford Arts Theatre. The use of the theatre space at Wexford Arts Centre along withthe support of the Arts centre and ISACS staff gave us a platform to hone our craft, refine our practice as co-creators and to realise the full potential of our ideas for the creation of this showing.

LIFT was a wonderful opportunity for myself and Simon to put our continued investigation of the clown archetype of the hobo, while exploring the various masks, and putting it into practice through the development of this new work. LIFT provided us with the necessary time, space and support to develop our practice and the creation of this new work.

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